THIS MAY NOT BE BROOKLYN…
(…but that tree has now grown tall enough to peek into our 4th story window)

Each morning at breakfast, I’ve made it a habit of looking out of our apartment window overlooking the inner courtyard of our building, to look up at the sky to check out what kind of weather I can expect to have that day. I’ve done so for the better part of thirty years. Imagine my surprise, therefore, when the other day I found myself faced with, and staring eyeball to eyeball at, the gently swaying leafy top of a tree. A tree whose existence I had hardly noticed in all that time…until that other day. This may not be Brooklyn…but that tree has now grown tall enough to peek into our 4th story window!

It just goes to show that watching a tree grow has about as much appeal as watching grass grow, so you tend to ignore it until suddenly…there it is…intruding in upon your consciousness…and I have to admit a tree like that can sure make its presence known, especially if it has quietly gone about its business of growing proudly tall, fully leafed in a healthy and pleasant shade of green, and obviously still intent on reaching further skywards towards the fifth story, or even higher, to our building’s roof’s parapet level.

Indeed, it’s a tree worthy of much respect because it has survived a lot of neglect. Yet, despite that neglect over the years, it has somehow avoided becoming the object of a chainsaw’s interest (unlike all that former wall-clinging ivy and some of its other tree companions in that courtyard, all of whom disappeared long ago). So today it remains as the courtyard’s Alpha-plant…lording it over everything else there… including all those puny veggie and herb plant beds our human neighbors set up to cater to their urban green-thumb efforts. More intriguing than that, however, is the fact that it has gained enough stature to become the benign landlord to a number of birds’ nests settled among its branches…a colony which seems to have grown right along with its own increase in size and girth.

Well, I hardly care or bother about looking at the sky anymore. That tree has become the focus of my morning gaze, as we greet each other like two good neighbors saying howdy, it… gently waving a leafy branch tip at me…I…toasting my coffee cup right back at it…as we silently exchange whatever morning thoughts and pleasantries we may have to share with each other.

No, I’ve not become a tree-hugger, nor have I taken up the practice of talking to plant life, but, we’ve grown old together, and, believe it or not, this plant critter has its own particular personality, which is why I enjoy its company every morning because it leaves me with a…good-on-yer-mate…feeling, as some of my Aussie friends might put it, and that of course…just makes my day.

CENTURION